Time to Shine with Ochre Sun

Image source: Photographer Markus Ravik

Rebecca Jamieson Dwyer meets Alana Kennedy, the powerhouse founder behind Ochre Sun – a social enterprise sunscreen brand harnessing the power of plants and ancient medicine to nurture our skin and change lives for the better.

Living or holidaying on the Sunshine Coast, you’re guaranteed to go through bucketloads of sunscreen (the clue’s in the name). But what if there was a superior offering that nourished your skin with the healing power of traditional bush medicine, while at the same time giving back to the remote communities who harvested the raw botanicals?

Enter Ochre Sun – the unique Sunshine Coast-based brand sharing an innovative new take on sunscreen with the world.

“It’s an SPF 50+ sunscreen, but it’s unlike any other – it’s been created using the wisdom of 60,000 years of knowledge to create a nourishing, multitasking, skin-healing sun protection product that does it all,” founder Alana Kennedy, a proud Waanyi Kalkatungu woman, explains.

Ochre Sun uses sustainably and ethically sourced native ingredients such as Kakadu Plum and Gukwonderuk, and has been scientifically proven to heal and nurture your skin while protecting it from the sun’s harsh rays. Available in tubes, trigger sprays and pump bottles in a variety of sizes, it’s free from nasties such as PABAs and nanoparticles, making it suitable for even the most sensitive skin – plus it’s lightweight and easy to apply, rubbing in clear for perfect pool- or beach-side application.

Dreamed up and manufactured right here on the coast, this homegrown hero can be found on the shelves of many local IGA and other stores – as well as purchased directly from the Ochre Sun website – and Alana would absolutely love to see the local community benefit from this beautiful brand she’s poured her heart and soul into over the past few years.

“We’re trying to get it onto as many shelves as possible this summer!” she says. “The Sunshine Coast community is so passionate about supporting local businesses, and I just know people are going to love it once they try it.”

The superstar native ingredients are hand-harvested on Country by people in remote communities, before being dried and sent to Ochre Sun to be incorporated into their products – providing these groups with a regular source of income, a way to share their traditional knowledge, and a purpose that lights them up.

“The greatest privilege we have is getting to see what happens when you give people hope,” Alana says. “Putting our trust in these communities and seeing what they’re capable of has been so amazing. Our relationships have really flourished – the deep respect and honour goes both ways.”

“Through working together, we’re empowering our elders to share their valuable knowledge by revitalising their traditions, and we’re raising up our young children by giving them that sense of confidence in themselves,” she continues. “They belong to something greater that has an impact on lots of people, and that starts to connect the dots back to worthiness and identity.”

Ochre Sun is just one of the brands in the pipeline for the Bush Clinicians Group – the sunscreen brand’s parent company, also founded by Alana, which has the vision of sharing Aboriginal culture with people across the globe by bringing more Indigenous-owned, plant-powered products to the skincare, cosmetics and wellness markets.

“The Bush Clinicians Group is a business model that blends traditional wisdom with contemporary business insight, ethical sourcing and community engagement,” Alana says. “Our fusion of tradition and modernity makes us unique on the global stage.

“We can’t wait to share more bush medicine-inspired products with the world, and create a lasting, tangible impact for Indigenous people and communities.”

Just like the Indian modality of Ayurveda, Indigenous Australian bush medicine is a healthcare system that’s withstood the test of time, as well as the influence of contemporary science and treatments.

Much like Australia’s Aboriginal people themselves, this ancient practice is incredibly resilient – in fact, it’s one of the world’s oldest surviving approaches to wellbeing.

“As Indigenous people, we are the custodians of the ancient wisdom that’s been passed down to us by our elders for thousands of years,” Alana says. “But we have the privilege of sharing it so that everyone in the country and beyond can benefit from the power of traditional medicine and native botanicals.

“I wish I could tell each of our customers that Ochre Sun has been created for you.”

TIPS FOR STAYING SUN SAVVY THIS SUMMER

  • Use a make-up sponge or brush for precision application of sunscreen on the face – this also makes it more fun for kids!
  • Use the bakslap applicator for those hard to reach places.
  • Put your sunscreen in the fridge for a cooling application. Our 250ml is designed for this – use it as an icy cold facial spritz!
  • Our sunscreen is the perfect primer for a dewy summer look under your make-up.
  • Skincare routine: cleanse, tone, Ochre Sun sunscreen, then apply your make-up straight on top – our formula is lightweight with hydrating ingredients, so no extra moisturiser is needed.
  • Don’t forget to reapply frequently! Our sunscreen is as essential as a bottle of water on a hot summer day.

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